Don Morse Jr. was a King of a Man, He was a dear dear friend and associate of mine. He will be remembered as a great philanthropist, dedicated family man and someone very dear to the service to the World Community. WCNTV Remembers Don Morse Jr. and say to his family during this difficult time that the joy we have in being connected to such a Lover of Life will live on through us and each day when we remember his touch, his smile and his presence, may the joy of his Spirit sustain us all who knew and loved Don Morse Jr. Rest in Peace. International Goodwill Ambassador Oscar J. Webb.
DON MORSE JR., 70 FREEPORT – On Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, the world lost a special man – a man many have said was “larger than life.” His presence will never be forgotten as he has touched so many among his family, friends and the community. Don adored his family and welcomed many others to his extended family. A devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend, Don will always be remembered for his generosity, his amazing intellect, his twinkling eyes, his quick wit and his infectious smile.
Don had a magnetic personality that would capture the heart of a child, inspire a group of young adults, provide vision for community leaders, and earn the deep respect of business peers and customers. Don was born July 9, 1941, in Freeport, the son of Donald L. and Joyce E. Morse. If he took anything on in life, it quickly became a passion and he wasn’t satisfied until he mastered it. In his early life he enjoyed bowling, tennis, basketball, and was a drummer in the school band.
He had many fond memories of hunting with his father and good friends. He loved cars, 50s music (especially “Chantilly Lace”), skill games and was an avid reader. He graduated from Freeport High School in 1959 and attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign until the death of his beloved father. After leaving the University of Illinois, he became a journeyman electrician through the IBEW Local 364 in 1967, and shortly thereafter joined his mother in the management of Morse Electric. On April 9, 1973, Don married the love of his life, Janey. During their 38 years together, they raised four children – Lori, Krissy, Scott and Donny, worked side by side to grow a business, and were each other’s best friend and constant companion.
Their welcoming home was full of laughter, warmth, family and friends. Don’s father and mother started Morse Electric in 1944. Don’s father passed away at a young age and Don Jr., went to support his mother at Morse Electric. Together with his mother, brother, Dave, and an amazing group of co-workers, they grew the company to a geographical reach which includes operations in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Nevada. Over the years, Don’s vision for Morse Electric allowed the company to expand its reach and expertise in the world of electrical construction, engineering, design, maintenance, high voltage work and electrical testing. Today, The Morse Group has expanded to serve customers throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with services that also encompass sound and lighting, custom assembly, hardware/software integration and energy efficiency.
Don was a life-long supporter of Freeport and its community. Don was a very spiritual man and a member of the First Church of the Open Bible. Over the years, he volunteered his services and talents on the Board of Directors for St. Francis, St. Joseph’s Provena, Highland Community College, Freeport Chamber of Commerce, the Freeport Planning Commission and the Economic Development Board. As a testament to Don’s character and life work, Morse Electric received both the Thomas H. Madigan Outstanding Business Achievement Award and the Illinois Family Business of the Year Awards in 1999. Don was a longstanding member of the Freeport Country Club, sharing his love for golf with his “Royal’s buddies.”
During the last 10 years, Don developed a passion for Arabian horses. He became very active in the Arabian horse community, traveling domestically and abroad, developing deep friendships within his equestrian family. Don gave generously to fellow horsemen who were impacted by various tragedies. Over the last 15 years, Don and Janey split their time between Freeport and Scottsdale, Ariz., where they enjoyed relationships with long term friends from Freeport and made wonderful new friendships.
More than anything else, Don loved his family and friends and enjoyed spending time with all of them. His sense of humor, his informal way, and his commanding presence will be missed by all that knew him. Surviving are his loving wife, Janey; his beloved children, Donald L. Morse III (Gabrielle), Lori Morse Mantua (Gino), Scott Schindlbeck (Heidi), all of Freeport and Kristin Morse of Jensen Beach, Fla.; brother, David Morse (Debbie) of Scottsdale; sister, Joy Fritz of Atlanta; grandchildren, Ashley Albaum, Taylor Strohecker, Matthew Strohecker, Donald L. Morse IV (Sonny), CJ Schindlbeck, Lilian Schindlbeck, Elias Morse; an eagerly anticipated great-grandchild in April; nieces, Pam Lopez, Melinda Vlk, Joanna Carl and Cassandra Morse; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Stan and Cecilia Crippen, Seth and Melissa Crippen, Beth Street and their collective children, Gretchen and Dyke Andreasen, Heidi Hampt and Mark Rockhold, Scott and Leslie Crippen and Eric, Katie and Luke Crippen.
His heartbroken family will always be inspired by his legacy and comforted by their memories of him. Visitation from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec 19, in Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home, Freeport. Private funeral service will be held Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial fund to a very special charity to his heart-Malcolm Eaton Enterprises of Freeport, which encourages and assists people with disabilities by creating opportunities which foster independent community living. Arrangements by Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home, 504 N. Walnut Ave., Freeport, IL 61032.
Memorial Video Supplied by the Family and Tribute Found at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/rrstar/obituary.aspx?n=don-morse&pid=155072171&fhid=14413